Origin Effects Cali76-STD, TX, TX-LP Review – Best Compressor Pedals?

Reviewed by:
On December 24, 2014
Last modified:October 8, 2016



If you know anything at all about studio compression, the numbers “1176” probably need no introduction. And even if you’ve never heard of the legendary Urei 1176 compressor, you’ve heard it on countless hit music spanning every decade since its release in the late 60’s. The solid-state, FET-based Urei/Universal Audio 1176 is considered by many distinguished musicians, engineers, and producers as one of the greatest compressors of all-time and is still in production today. The Origin Effects Cali76 draws upon the 1176’s legacy with a single mission: to give guitarists access to that legendary compression sound in a stompbox guitar pedal.

But the Cali76 isn’t to be mistaken as a mere clone of the 1176. While the Cali76’s name clearly references the 1176 and Urei’s California origins, it’s actually a carefully crafted original circuit that mirrors the topology of the 1176’s design with thoughtfully condensed circuitry to fit into a floor-based unit for your pedalboard. The task of shrinking the illustrious 1176 into a pedal without any compromise in sound quality is a task that few pedal builders would even attempt, but Simon Keats of Origin Effects draws upon an engineering and design experience working with a number of well-known audio companies to bring guitarists the Cali76.

What’s especially interesting to note about the Cali76 is that there are multiple versions available, each one perhaps suited to different needs. Our review aims not only to find out how good the Cali76 really is in general but to also discover which version may be best suited to which user.

Here’s the most basic feature summary of the Cali76 pedals that have been released so far:

Cali76-STD: standard model, single in/out.

Cali76-TX: iron core transformer, in/out, Line/DI out w/ ground lift & pad, high/low gain modes.

Cali76-TX-L: same as above except w/ Lundahl transformer instead of iron core.

Cali76-TX-P: same as Cali76-TX w/ added parallel compression and foot-switchable 2-8 dB Boost.

Cali76-TX-LP: same as above except w/ Lundahl transformer instead of iron core.

We’re reviewing 3 of the 5 to cover the different features found in these units. The biggest concern for most potential Cali76 owners is whether or not to get the standard unit or a transformer equipped version. The parallel/boost models were a limited run, but we’re still going to assess the value of those added features to see if you’re really missing out.

Cali76-STD vs Cali76-TX vs Cali76-TX-LP


If the Cali76 has come on your radar before reading this review, you might have had a few questions about the different models available. I was in the same situation myself. I decided that if I was going to review the Cali76, I wanted to do it right. I would have to compare the various versions available to see not only if the Cali76 really is the best compression pedal around but which version is the best one to get… period. (As you’ll soon discover, the different models are suited to different players.) Most importantly, I want this review to be a resource for helping you discover if the Cali76 is right for you and, if so, which version will best suit your needs.

Some people look at spec sheets and don’t fully understand what they’re reading. These hapless guitarists sometimes end up paying for something that ends up being less suited to their needs. It’s very important to understand what you want out of a product and know what those different options mean before making a buying decision. Don’t be one of those pedal hoarders trying to one-up the next person’s pedalboard with the fanciest version of whatever cool new pedal they find. If you put tone before everything else and want the best gear for creating your music, this Cali76 review is for you. I’ll do my best to share my thoughts on which version of the Cali76 may be best suited for who while assessing if these really are the best compression pedals since the original 1176 hit the scene. Here’s deeper summary of  features before we get to our Origin Effects Cali76-STD, Cali76-TX, & Cali76-TX-LP review.


The Cali76 is a premium quality, 1960s-style FET compressor, inspired by the legendary Urei 1176.

Cali76-STD Key Features:

100% Class-A discrete signal path.

Ultra-fast “FET” response.

Attack & Release presets.

Studio-grade “discrete” preamplifier.

Rugged VU-style meter.

Low-noise electronics.

Optimized for guitar but also great for processing recorded instruments.

Selectable True, or Buffered, Bypass.

50 hours life from single 9V / PP3 cell.

Optional external power (9-18V DC).

Traditional Through-Hole PCB.

Cali76-TX Key Features:

100% Class-A discrete output-amplifier.

Custom-designed transformer driving a pair of outputs.

Unbalanced instrument-level output.

Balanced line-level output.

Ground-lift function to eliminate ground induced hum (balanced output only).

Signal-pad for DI (balanced output only).

Gain-switch adjusts level through transformer circuitry, for increased amplifier/transformer saturation.

Auto-Shut-Down – effectively returns pedal to “stock” format when powered from a battery or low-voltage supply (Cali76-STD mode).

Cali76-TX-LP Key Features:

Same as Cali76-TX with these exceptions:

Top-of-the-line Lundahl transformer.

Foot-switchable 8dB Clean Boost stage.

Parallel Dry signal path level control.

Visit Origin Effects for more info about the Cali76-STD, Cali76-TX/Cali76-TX-L, and Cali76-TX-P/Cali76-TX-LP.

See the lowest price on eBay.

Sound & Performance:

You know that feeling when you play an instrument or a piece of gear and right away you just know that it’s a “next level” piece of hardware? Factors like price, build quality, and sound design aren’t what I’m talking about here. It’s like that moment when you pick up that perfect guitar and everything just clicks and you know that the instrument you’re playing will help you take your music to the next level. It’s the inspiration that the right instrument brings with it. I always have this feeling of experiencing a greater connection with my guitar and amp when a Cali76 is in the middle. The single biggest benefit of any guitar, amp, or effect is how it inspires you, and the Cali76 offers a source of inspiration that parallels the best instruments and effects I’ve ever played. Just as a good bus compressor gels a mix together, the Cali76 has a way of providing a unique bond between guitarist, instrument, and amp.

While compression is one of the most often misunderstood and underused effects by guitarists, it is perhaps the single most important effect a guitarist can use. Compression is all about dynamic control, accentuating aspects of your original guitar signal before it hits your other pedals and your amp and is finally heard from your speakers. Of course dynamic control also comes from your hands, but seasoned guitarists understand the important role a compressor can play in helping shape the initial sound that comes from your guitar. The Cali76 can be so subtle, yet have such a great presence on what you play and how you play it.

Let’s get away from the vagaries of the “magic” that Cali76 imparts on your sound. I’m going to start with my impressions of the Cali76-STD first as this was the unit I spent the most time with and probably the unit I’ve found is probably best suited to the needs of most guitarists.

When I unboxed these 3 pedals I spent about a week playing the Cali76-STD before even plugging the other models in. I wanted to develop an appreciation for the Cali76 on all levels instead of just diving into all the units and checking out those snazzy transformers in the more expensive models under the assumption that those pedals would sound “better” than the Cali76-STD.


(Pictured Above, Top Middle: Cali76-STD, Bottom Left: Cali76-TX, Bottom Right: Cali76-TX-LP)



While the Cali76-STD is the most basic and straight-ahead version of the Cali76, it is by no means a second rate version of the more costly units available. The first thing I noticed when activating the Cali76-STD is that it is perfectly transparent and offers a true representation of your guitar’s original tone. Transparency is one of the most sought-after attributes of a compressor, and the achievement of such a pure sound (even without the Lundahl transformer!) is a testament to Origin Effects’ careful attention to detail with this pedal. The Cali76-STD also operates with extremely low noise, a problem that usually plagues lesser stompbox compressors. It’s undeniable that the basic Cali76 model is leagues ahead of your typical compressor in terms of reproducing your input source signal accurately and without unwanted noise added. You can grit things up a bit if you’d like, but I’ll get to that later.

The Cali76-STD features a similar knob layout to the Urei 1176 with a 5th knob to pick the compression ratio instead of the 1176’s 4 buttons. Yes, that means no “all-button-mode” like on the 1176, but you instead get a smooth sweep through the ratios for fine tuning the perfect ratio of compression.

Origin-Effects-Cali76-STD-TX-LP-Review-Best-Compression-Pedals-04Your basic 2-knob compression pedal will usually have some kind of generic Sustain and Output control configuration. Likewise, the Cali76 starts with Input/Comp and Output. The Input/Comp lets you essentially adjust the threshold at which the compression kicks in by increasing the gain at the pedal’s studio-grade input preamplifier. If you crank the Input/Comp too high, you’ll get the expected saturation caused by clipping the input along with a more heavily compressed signal. You’ll typically get great results by pushing up the Input/Comp until the meter shows that you’re compressing the peaks on those more loudly picked notes. Then you can adjust your overall Output to unity gain with your bypassed sound or a little higher if you want a boost. If you want some heavier transient squashing, you can push up the Input/Comp to achieve your desired response. This also can be used to achieve a slightly “grittier” sound as mentioned above.

Origin-Effects-Cali76-STD-TX-LP-Review-Best-Compression-Pedals-05After you get the Input/Comp and Output set, you’ll find the Ratio to be an integral part of adjusting the amount of compression your signal receives after it passes the threshold set by the Input/Comp knob. Keeping the Ratio knob left of noon to the 4:1 and 8:1 settings usually provides enough of a cut to even out your dynamics without squashing the life out of your tone. The Cali76’s variable Ratio knob, in contrast to the Urei 1176’s 4 buttons, gives you greater ability to fine-tune the volume reduction to dial in the perfect amount of compression.

Origin-Effects-Cali76-STD-TX-LP-Review-Best-Compression-Pedals-06The beauty of the Cali76-STD is in its subtleties and how the parameters play off each other. The Ratio control also impacts the threshold of the unit which helps keep output volume consistent. You can balance extreme settings in one value with more mild settings in others. Even guitarists with little experience using compression will find it very hard to get a bad sound out of the Cali76-STD if you just listen to the sound and follow your ears. A little A/B testing with your dry signal will help you find just the right amount of compression to suite your tastes. Just keep your Input/Output around 12-3 ‘o clock or lower (especially if you’re using higher Ratio settings) to avoid overloading the input. It’s also important to get a feel for setting the Attack knob to let your picking transients through as well as getting the Release time right so that the compressor opens up for each note or passage you play. The Attenuation meter makes it easy to see how the compression is affecting your playing, so you can adjust settings accordingly.



Here are some example Cali76 settings from Origin Effects that give you some good starting points. While you can’t go wrong with these, you’ll get best results by tweaking them to your liking to suit the response you need for your playing. Follow your ears!

The Cali76-STD also features internal jumpers which may be used to select between true bypass (default) and buffered bypass (for long cable runs). Another jumper section allows you to lower the input sensitivity further, padding the pedal’s input if necessary. For typical guitar use at or near the front of your signal chain, the default options will most likely suffice. The Cali76-STD also has a single Input and Output for connectivity, making this the most accessible, plug-and-play unit in the line up for guitarists and bassists.



The Cali76-TX adds a few extra goodies to the Cali76 that make it a worthy consideration. The “TX” in the name indicates that this version has Origin Effects’ custom made iron core transformer at the output section of the pedal (“TX-L” indicates a Lundahl transformer). The most notable difference between the sound of the Cali76-STD and the Cali76-TX is that the iron core transformer imparts a more harmonically rich, fatter sound compared to the standard unit’s flat transparency. This pedal has the most unique character of the 3 variations (standard, iron core, & Lundahl) as it does impart a bit of its own color to your overall tone. The iron core transformer’s sound is especially tempting in a minimalist rig where you’ll really want that character to become a focus of your tone.


The Cali76-TX (and TX-L) also has a High/Low Gain switch on the back of the pedal that kicks up the gain by 9 dB where it hits the transformer, resulting in an even more saturated sound. The Cali76-TX keeps your output level consistent when you flip the switch to High Gain, so you can saturate your sound without getting hit by a potentially unwanted surge in volume. That was some very nice attention paid to detail on behalf of Simon Keats at Origin Effects. For guitarists this slight surge of gain will provide an even more aggressive sound, especially pleasing if you want to hit your amp hard directly from the pedal without using an overdrive or boost in your chain. Some bassists on the other hand may not appreciate the extra coloring and saturation the Cali76-TX offers. For preserving the sound and absolute clarity of your bass tone, perhaps the Cali76-STD or one of the Lundahl equipped units (Cali76-TX-L or TX-LP) would be preferred. Again, this where I’d really recommend knowing what you want to achieve beforehand with your tone before you make your final decision.

While I lean towards the Cali76-STD as being the best fit for most guitarists and bassists, the “TX” units do offer some extra flexibility in the connectivity area that are worth considering. While the Cali76-STD offers a single medium-impedance output (suitable for connecting to your pedals or directly into your amp), the 2 outputs on the “TX” units are “ultra-low-impedence” according to Origin Effects. This gives you the flexibility to drive “almost any audio input connection”. Basically, this means you can confidently connect the pedal to recording consoles, mixers, sound-cards, mic preamps, etc. There’s even a -28dB Pad switch to drop the output level on the Line/DI output to ensure connection to any line-level or mic-level input. It has a TRS output connection for converting to standard XLR with ground if necessary. A GND lift switch should help with removing any ground hum you may encounter as well. The Cali76-TX and Cali76-TX-L units give you extra connecting flexibility if you plan to use this pedal for tasks including vocal recording or connecting directly to a recording interface or mixing console for DI purposes.

All transformer versions of the Cali76 will bypass the transformer when powered via a 9-volt battery or 9VDC power supply. This means you can still access the Cali76-STD sound (albeit with slightly less dynamic range/headroom) if you really want the extra option. However, it must be understood that the regular Cali76-STD is impeccably transparent as is and is a very suitable option if you’d prefer to let all the tone come from your guitar, amp, and other overdrive and tone-enhancing pedals in your chain. Sometimes having several pedals that impart their own unique color to your tone can be like trying to paint with several brushes at once. For this reason I again touch on my point that perhaps the Cali76-STD may be best for most folks. But if you do choose a “TX” unit, you do still have the option of getting the “standard” Cali76 sound by using a 9-volt power source.


I’m testing this unit mainly to compare its Lundahl transformer to the iron core transformer and the FET-only standard version. The Cali76-TX-LP is essentially the same as the Cali76-TX-L only with an extra control for blending in your Dry Level (hence the “P” for parallel compression) and with a foot-switchable Boost function.

The Lundahl transformer is beautifully transparent along the lines of the standard Cali76 but with a more “hi-fi” audio quality to it. Origin Effects mentions on their site that it has no “core saturation”, instead offering the purest audio path for your signal and with a broad-spectrum frequency response far outside the range of human hearing. It’s more pristine than your ears may even realize. This might be overkill for some, but it does have its uses, particularly if you plan on recording direct with your Cali76 as you would with a rack-mounted compressor unit.

The absolute transparency and incredibly wide frequency response of the Lundahl transformer models make them especially worth considering for vocal recording applications and other mono signal compression duties in the studio. If you plan on using your Cali76 not only on your pedalboard but in your home/professional studio as well, you might benefit from having one of the Lundahl units.

As mentioned previously the Cali76-TX-LP also has a parallel compression option. This is particularly suited to recording applications for blending in some dry signal to fatten up the transients of percussion sounds. This could be essentially used to thicken up any input source. Many people feel that having a blend control isn’t necessary for guitar pedal compression as it detracts from the original purpose of using compression in the first place. Also, people who don’t really understand how to properly use compression may end up using a blend control as a crutch to fatten up their tone instead of really dialing in their compression sound. I was, however, able to use the Cali76-TX-LP’s parallel compression to thicken up my sound and make my guitar sound more saturated akin to the iron core Cali76-TX even without the Gain switch set to High.

The Boost of the “P” models is a nice touch, and it’s great to see Origin Effects make use of the extra space on the southwest side of the pedal by including this function. Again, this adds extra utility for players with a minimalist rig. If you don’t already have a boost or overdrive pedal, you may just want to use the Boost function to push your amp into overdrive or provide a little solo boost.

The only range of sounds I haven’t tried personally are what’s provided from the Cali76-TX-P unit. This unit would seem like one for players who feel they still don’t have a enough saturation with the Cali76-TX as you could use parallel compression to further thicken up your overall sound. This might be overkill though. The parallel version was originally conceived for recording purposes. All these extra bells and whistles may seem like icing on the cake, but some musicians may find it wiser to keep it simple and just dial in the classic compression offered from either the Cali76-STD, Cali76-TX, or Cali76-TX-L. Besides, don’t you already have a great overdrive/boost pedal? Remember, think about what you need and what will most benefit your guitar sound. If you simply need quality compression, then one of the currently available units will most likely be right for your needs.

If you watch the Cali76 review demo you’ll really be able to discern the differences of these pedals yourself. Also, it’s worth emphasizing that you can sort of reach the ballpark sounds of other versions by tweaking whichever one you’re using. Pushing up the Input/Comp on the Cali76-STD will saturate the tone somewhat towards the iron core unit. Any “TX” unit can be run on 9-volts to get the standard sound. The Lundahl units are transparent like the standard and can be used in High Gain mode as well like the iron core version. The differences are subtle, less so with the iron core transformer, but before you make a decision have a listen for yourself. Check out our review demo. Listen to others on the web. If you’re still having a hard time considering whether or not you need a transformer version, know that even the humble Cali76-STD is a stellar compressor and may be the best value for the needs of most working guitarists.

I don’t have any real complaints with any of these units. Sure, the Cali76 is big. And in a world of shrinking pedal enclosures, this may be a turn off for some. It would of course be be nice if Origin Effects could condense the size a little, but the Cali76 is definitely worth making room for if you want the best compression on your pedalboard that money can buy. Simon Keats made no compromises in the audiophile grade components he used when designing this pedal. This is a premium piece of gear that few other pedals could even dream of matching. I will note that I really liked the way Origin Effects made use of the extra space on the “P” units by adding a Boost even though it may be redundant in some setups. I would be curious to see the Boost option be added as a standard feature on all the units and perhaps be selectable to come before or after the compression. I could imagine using it to match the levels of 2 different guitars before the signal hits the compression. Or maybe some people who really like the High/Low Gain options of the “TX” units might appreciate the ability to foot-switch between them. Perhaps then a small dial instead of a switch could be used to select the amount of High Gain for an adjusted level of extra saturation. These are just a few ideas that spring to mind, and I’m sure Origin Effects have already been taking notes from their growing fanbase of loyal customers. But I can’t really complain. These units are all top tier, and each one will be best suited to different players.

Which Cali76 Is For Which Player?

In case you’re skimming through this review (tl;dr?), here are my final thoughts on which of the 3 currently available units is probably best for which type of user.

Cali76-STD: Any guitarist/bassist who needs transparent, high quality compression on their pedalboard.

Cali76-TX: Guitarists with who like the coloring of the iron core transformer as its great tone will always be imparted in your sound. Those who might need the DI.

Cali76-TX-L: Guitarists/bassists/recording professionals who need high quality compression with studio-grade audio fidelity. Those who definitely need the DI.

While the Cali76-TX-P and Cali76-TX-LP do have the potentially handy boost function if your rig is very light on pedals (i.e. no overdrive/boost), I’ve come to regard parallel compression as less vital in pedals if companies have really focused on getting the compression right in the first place.

What’s most important here is Origin Effects’ interpretation of a proven compression method and how it’s been implemented in a fairly easy to use compressor pedal. They’ve nailed it with the Cali76. Let’s see the final result.



The Origin Effects Cali76 is the forerunner for the best compression pedal available today and is a heralding champion of the distinguished 1176 legacy that it draws upon. Each unit is top-notch and deserves highest marks in all categories. The Cali76-STD in particular is an instant classic, beautiful and transparent, and is an incredible value for real 1176-style compression in a stompbox. The Cali76-TX will be a welcome addition for guitarists who appreciate the extra tonal coloring that it offers. The Cali76-TX-LP brings in the hi-fi audiophile transparency that only a Lundahl transformer can deliver, making this pedal a multi-duty workhorse for stage and studio. The “P” units were a limited run, but you can still get that Lundahl sound with the Cali76-TX-L. The Cali76 is simply in a league of its own. As most compressors can’t compete on this level, it only competes with itself with the variations that are available. I can’t give a clear answer of which one is best. You’ll have to decide which one is best for you. As long as it says “Cali76” on it, you’ve made a good decision.

That concludes our Origin Effects Cali76-STD, Cali76-TX, and Cali76-TX-LP review. Thanks for reading.


Want to buy the Origin Effects Cali76?

See The Lowest Price On eBay


  1. The review seems legit. Oh my, these pedals seem to have the FX that I need. ‘Giveaway winning hopes’ apart, I think this happens to be a fine piece of sound FX processor, especially for Bass players. If I win this one, I’ll be able to play Bass with Synth sounds.

  2. What a beautify transparent compression. I can hear the difference the TX’s Output Transformer makes and I like it. Would love to stick this on my board.

  3. Wow what an eye opener! I am a purist started teaching myself to play guitar in 1965 on a Sears & Roebuck Silvertone guitar and case/amp combo. 50 years later I’ve played in numerous bands mostly back in the 60s and 70s. At this stage I am a “Old Guys Rule” kind of guy playing a Fender Deluxe American Strat and a Gibson SG through a Fender “Blues Junior lll”. I like ANALOG. and this compression sounds like the thing I’ve been looking for. I would opt for the Cali76 STD. I play with other guys into “Classic Rock”, “Surf Rock” mostly small venues, bars, etc. I have to have “that” tone I can still hear from the likes of Dick Dale and the Delltones, my fav. Take your transistors and, well you know. I will be beating boots on ground to my music store and see if I can check one out in person. Great job “Origin Effects” for getting “that” sound out and about again.

  4. After seeing these pop up on my radar for the last few weeks, this in depth review is really great. As a vocalist as well as a guitarist, I know the importance of compression and it’s really cool to see a classic such as the 1176 in pedal form. These are probably the best compressors a guitarist can buy. Hope I win.

  5. Thanks for the review of the Cali76 line of compressors. I am learning the bass, and now I am curious if the Cali76 line would be useful with a bass.

  6. I run a buffer first so I’d like the tx-l at the end of my chain or the tx-p to replace my boost that sits last as well. I haven’t had much luck with compressors but I’ve also never had one of this caliber.

  7. This is one of the pedals I would love to add to my bass board! It would really help me control some of the punch I need when I switch on pedals like my octaver!

  8. Had the -TX for a year – loved it! But sadly it was stolen with my gear last fall! Someone in Oakland has a great compressor, hope they appreciate it!

    Love to get another one day and get this xotic off my board (not bad but not great even though the size is right)


  9. Great sounding pedal. Love the Funky Monks sound in the demo. I definitely need to get my hands on a compressor that’s low noise and highly adjustable.

  10. I would love to win the Cali76-TX-LP so that I could use it on vocals and acoustic guitar direct to the sound board, in addition to my electric guitar.

  11. I love the transparency on this units, how subtle and gentle but yet how much tone it adds to your signal! definitely love the taste and flavor it adds. my favorite unit its the CALI76-TX-L. I am hoping Simon will come up with a smaller footprint of this pedal…..maybe a 4×5″ would be perfect but who knows……
    I am definitely sticking with these compressor until death do us apart…..love them.


  12. This is a one of a kind pedal. I use a 1176 clone plugin from Antress for limiting on my voice over audios and it’s my favorite sounding compressor. To have that same sound in a box like this would be a dream come true. Useful not only for guitar or bass but for anything you can record.

  13. These pedals are quite expensive but it seems they are totally worth the money, i’d really love to try one! Excellent build quality and a really unique pedal (until Keeleys new pedal-size compressor comes out, which seems to shoot in the same direction).

  14. Thanks for your comments. I understood better than a compression pedal and how it works in the tone of the guitar.

    As always a wise and very interesting review…

    Thank you very much.

  15. It looks like the STD will suit me just fine. I usually play acoustic through pedals, and I want to make life easier for the sound man. The STD seems well suited for that purpose, as the compressor will fit early into my chain and I will not need a separate DI.

  16. A must have fx, as well as a boost in any pedalboard. All in all this heavy duty Cali76TX compressor exhibits a lot of outstanding features that make it to stand apart!

  17. I prefer the STD actually. The TX sounded a little fuzzy to me for some reason. I think that the STD would help me with low gain tone.

  18. Thanks for this thorough review. I’ve been pondering over this pumpkin for a while, but it’s hard to get my hands on one. This was the perfect substitute for actually playing it.

  19. I’ve never won anything in my life, but if I won one of these I would use it to tenderly compress my tones for many years. Beautiful piece of equipment. Wow

  20. Lovely pedal !! If I had to choose one, I think it would be the Cali76-TX. I love how fat but still transparent gets your sound.

  21. I just ordered (one of) the last available TXLPs and look forward to its delivery. Can’t wait to try the Germanium version.

  22. Epic compressions :P
    Kinda give that little something you need to colour your sound.

    I would like one fo those on my board :)

  23. I’ve been considering getting a compression pedal and this review has given me a lot to think about. I’do probably go for the STD model so the character of my guitar and other pedals come through nice and clean.

  24. Man…. All three of these pedals look great! I’ve been looking at getting a compressor for a while now, and to be honest, after reading this review, I would be immensely happy with any of these pedals! Thanks for a great detailed review of all three pedals!

  25. I love compression! Especially like it at the beginning AND end of my way too long effects chain, GOTTA HAVE ONE OF THESE BB’s!

  26. These pedals give normal humans access to a secret weapon of loads of top flight producers and engineers. Thank you Origin Effects!!!

  27. Compression seems like an underutilized effect when it comes to experimenting: why not multiple compressions? More than one compressor at the same time? Compression is cool!

  28. The 76 STD sounds like the perfect addition to my set up. I’m drawn to the transparency of the unit as I’m very happy with the tone I have already. I NEED ONE!

  29. I must say that this Cali76 Demo is One of the Best Pedal Demos I’ve ever seen. Thanks for a thorough job :-) I LIKED the Cali76-TX (with the Iron core) the Most. It’s Subtle yet Fat Colorization is just what I think I’d like the MOST. Therefore, if my entry is chosen, I WOULD ENJOY having the Cali76 TX Iron.

  30. Cali76-TX-LP might as well go for all the bells and whistles, i have a great compressor / limiter from keeley and i won’t get the pro version because i don’t feel i need it; but if i’m getting one; i’ll take any, but why not get the one with all the bells and whistles.

  31. If it sounds as good as it looks through my rig, if I don’t win it, I’ll buy it and when my friends hear it, they’ll be buying one too. I am a man of few pedals.

  32. I keep hearing that this is one of the best comps out there. I’d love to give it a go. I think I’d have a hard time choosing a version though, since I want them all. Amazing features and attention to detail.

  33. I adore the TX – it would fit perfect sound’n’style of my simple bassrig. Sandberg Masterpiece, Darkglass Vintage Deluxe, Mesa 400+ and an Orange OBC 410

  34. I’m not a compressor guy. I like the dynamics I get with my pick, but the Cali76 provides a way for me to keep my pick dynamics and make all the notes stand out and be crisp. I dont own one but if I did it would never leave my board. It would make all our live recordings sound so much cleaner.

  35. I really enjoyed the head to head to head. You can actually hear the differences between the different models quite clearly. I enjoyed the TX the most, then the TX-L, and finally the STD. I think any of these would sound great with an acoustic!

  36. I checked out the Cali76 & sliderig & had a tuff time making up my mind which to buy. I chose the sliderig for slide work but you can’t go wrong either way. Built like a tank & there isn’t a bad setting on either box. Thanks Origin for making these.

  37. WOW, this is awesome! This is like a super high quality studio compressor in pedal format.
    I NEED this for guitar, bass, and mandola..

  38. The Cali’s have been getting a lot of attention on talkbass, especially since Nolly from Periphery started using one last year.

    It really says a lot about musicians buying habits when remakes of older gear sell better than new ideas (e.g. the smoothie compression pedal). Just some food for thought.

  39. It looks so good, I’m excited to try one! To my ears the std one sounds better by videos but for sure it’s not fair to judge them without trying them in live!

  40. To my ears, it’s gotta be the Iron Core, for that little something extra! I’ve never played with a compressor before, nor have I even THOUGHT about it. So I’m not sure how I would use it, except that I hope it gets me closer to that killer tone I hear in my head. Thanks for this great demo, as well as all the other great demos / reviews!

  41. I’m not used to use compression, but after reading about its benefits (if used in a subtle way) I’m starting to think I’d like one. These Cali76 look superb!

  42. I’ve never really been a fan of compression pedals, but these sound really great. I like the fatter sound of the TX out of the three. It would be really useful for me since I play with single coils.

  43. Dig this compressor, it gives that slight tonal change to make your guitar sound like a really nice and expensive piece of hardware. I don’t know too much about compressors personally but the video demo did a very nice job of showing off the pedal’s feature and sweet sound.

  44. Wow, I’ve been lusting after a Cali76 for a while now, it’s the ultimate for clean versatility
    I bought an MXR Custom Comp for a budget option. It’s sorta OK for one sound but limited tweakability
    I’ll get a Cali76 one way or another, if I win one it’ll be like Xmas for me!

  45. These sound great, especially like the idea that i could be lazy and just run a cable directly into my audio interface. That makes life a lot easier when laying down a demo track.

  46. Compression is an important part of my sound. I’ve been on a search for the best compressor. This one seems to be it. I’m looking into buying one of the limited edition models with parallel compression. The Cali76-TX-P. From all accounts it’s not only a fantastic compressor but it imparts a really nice sound to your tone. I would just keep it on 100% of the time. Have it set for a mild/medium compression with the parallel compression knob at 75% wet 25% dry to keep some of that pick attack. I’d keep my Empress Compressor on the board, have it set for a really high compression and kick it on when needed. In my mind it couldn’t get much better than that. Already drooling.

    But hey, maybe I’ll just win one of the compressors you’re giving away…

  47. I discovered this beauty literally yesterday and i felt in love with it.
    Being a sound engineer as well, i am a big big fan of original 1176 and having that type of compression on my pedalboard i blowing my mind away. I am really looking forward to check it out, even if i don’t win it, i’ll definitely buy it. I hope you are gonna be at NAMM this year and i will have a chance to see you in person and talk about it. THANK YOU for all your work.

  48. This pedal simply sounds and looks amazing! I’d love to get my hands on it and apply that sweet compression to guitars, drums and bass alike. Thank you for a great review!

  49. The Cali 76 TX looks very complete. I think it is more versatile with Direct Out. I would like to have that for those instances when the sound man wants direct out, or a studio application. It would be great to see a distortion pedal from Origin Effects.

  50. I love this pedal.It is sounds great. I love the subtle compression that you can get from this pedal.Would be great for a SRV type of rig set up.Blows away the competitions compression pedals.

  51. World class pedals, excellent company and Simon is a super nice guy – which is important.
    The Slide Rig is particularly impressive!

  52. Nice review, wow! An 1176 in a solid stage stomp. I would love the Cali76 TX-LP please, like the dry signal blending option. I would use it right in front of my pre on stage or studio. Bet it’ll be fabulous for vocals. Again, great review. Now pick me and I’ll be totally in your debt. Superb sounding compressor stomp, nice job Origin. Did I mentioned to pick me?

  53. my guitarist and my bass player have the Sliderig and the Cali76 and i love that sound! i´m planning on getting both for my studio as a more comfortable compression-effect for recording. it´s always better for the player to be able to change the settings by themselves and not to ask the tech about changing the blackface… big thumbs up!

  54. Ive been looking into the hype around these compressors and I’ve heard nothing but good things.. Id probably go with just the Standard version because it would do what i need it do which would be compress, (obviously). i already have other pedals and amps that boost and sound like i would want them to sound already But having a nice studio grade compressor would be an amazing addition.

  55. As soon as I heard these pedals I wanted one. In fact I immediately sent a message to them, saying I want one! Unfortunately for various reasons (both fiscal and personal) I was unable to go through with it!
    But I live in hope! The sound is wonderful. Nice one guys!

  56. I desperately wanted to try the Origin Effects Cali76 TX-LP, such a shame they were produced as a limited run as it looks to be the ultimate comp for all my guitar needs.
    That said, I’m sure the Cali76 TX-L would be nothing short of fantastic and I’d love to try it through my board some day…… keep up the great work Mr Keats!

  57. Thought I had the bees knees of compressors with the Empress but it looks like Origin Effects have just raised the bar. The Cali76-TX-L looks to be my favourite though I’d like to try one that’s not reviewed here, the Sliderig, with its dual compressors.

  58. I’ve heard the Cali76 in person and it delivers top notch compression. I’m still amazed at how good it sounds. Very versatile.

  59. Great review.. matches the other Youtube reviews Ive seen… Because of this I am now leaning more towards the STD than the TX… Still would love to try them all out personally first though…

  60. A lot of options here. I love the fact that you can use a tasteful and useful compression without too much clipping or too much squish. I love it. want it. Gotta’ have it. I’ll have everyone I know wanting to buy one of these!

  61. Once again my noobness shines through. I had NO clue what could be accomplished with a compressor pedal. Hey, even if I don’t win this thing, thank you guys so much just for educating the common unknowing musician like me with all these reviews!

  62. So impressed with your products! Cali 76 and Slide Rig are so on my radar for live and studio use.

    Keep up the good work.. I’d sure love to show these of to my colleagues and musician buds her in Portland Oregon!

    All the best,
    Dan Black

  63. I just love the way this compressor makes my beloved P-basses sound.
    I’ve tried a bunch of top-tier compressors but the Cali76 is by far a winner and is always on in my signal chain. A great in-depth review by the way!

  64. The Cali 76 TX looks like a great comp for adding character to guitar/bass/synth in the studio. That’s the one I’ll be saving up for! The extra line level out seems great for that application

  65. Have the Slide Rig, it is just always on and the build quality is outstanding.
    Cali 76 would be amazing.
    Having studio quality compression at your feet just brings your playing to life.

  66. Very good review, I already have the Slide Rig and i like to have a Cali 76 TX for bass or anything what is possible to recorg throug !

  67. I’m loving the sound of these compressors, but love the Cali76-Tx and the extra pop..makes the guitar clean and reall…I would use it for slide guitar!

  68. This is hands down the best compressor out there. Used it with bass and it works flawlessly! I would like to try it on vocals sometime as i would think it would do wonders! Cali 76 for the win!

  69. The Cali76 is absolutely the best compressor pedal to hit the market. It certainly will do the set and forget, but in the studio it is a very versatile tool.

  70. The Cali76 Standard is the best compressor on the market. The preamp is like nothing you have experienced. As the front end to my rig, the preamp/compressor is all I need for chain signal strength and tonal color. The ability to shrink and expand the tone range is amazing. I often just use the Cali76 with no other pedals because it is such a great pedal. Outstanding pedal and a permanent resident on my pedal board :).

  71. I have the TX-L version. Best compressor I’ve used. I leave it “always on” in my bass rig. I love the subtle warmth it can give my sound. It tightens up everything and if I could only have one pedal this would be it!

  72. These are all fantastic pedals. I had the opportunity to try the STD model and I fell in love with it. Although I bought the Slide Rig compressor, I would buy the Cali 76 STD pedal. It’s the best transparent compression I’ve ever heard from a pedal. I would leave it on all the time if I owned one. It cleans up your sound and gives it an overall boost yet at the same time stays out of the way. Fantastic pedal. Thanks for the great review. Cheers

    – Chris

  73. First class compressor! I got the STD and using it with bass.
    Wide, fat and lively sound, organic and liquid action.
    If I wanted more features I guess I would want even lower ratios and slower attack times.

  74. Great review, nice to hear them all at the same time! The TX is the winner – love the sound + DI output.
    Would love to hear an acoustic guitar demo.

  75. Okay, here’s the deal. I have the standard Cali 76 already and I downright love it. I seriously love it for everything I’ve ever tried it with. It works well for guitar (in which it has a spot on my pedalboard), bass, live keys, acoustic, etc. I’ve also used it quite a lot in the studio just in front of the pre. I honestly can just use it in front of almost anything to give me a little more shine and boost. It does a great job at cleaning everything up and boosting without squashing the heck out of everything. Don’t get me wrong, if you want it to squash, you can make it squash. Most of the time though, I don’t want a compressor to squash too much. I had a question regarding something with the Cali at one time too and attempted to contact the company and they got back with me within minutes, which I consider awesome customer service. They were very helpful and seemed like great people. The Cali is the only compressor pedal I’ve ever had out of maybe 20-30 altogether that was the perfect answer to a compressor connoisseur’s needs. I wish I had 10 more of them.

  76. I’ve been wanting to pick one of these up for quite a while now. Would love to get my hands on one. I will probably end up getting the Lundahl transformer version when/if I do. I really do wish people (including Origin themselves) would quit talking about the TX-P and the TX-LP version as they were both limited runs and are not available anywhere any longer – don’t really count as a product if people can’t get their hands on them. I wish they would consider making a version with Parallel compression a non-limited run. So many uses, defienitly a must-have

  77. The Cali76 is a very, very nice compressor pedal. It’s versatile, extremely well made and seemingly incapable of delivering anything other than high-quality sounds.

  78. Being lucky enough to own number 7 of the uber Cali76-TX-LP already I am entering in the hope that if I win I can gift this finest of audio devices to one of the soul brothers.

  79. Origin Effects has knocked it out of the park with the Cali76! I’ve been saving up for a TX model to put on my bass pedal board and complete my rig. The amount of control and degree of faithfulness to the original 1176 is amazing. Combining the Cali76 with my Sadowsky MV5PJ and my Schroeder cabinets would put me in tone heaven!!!

  80. The most versatile compressor on the market. Have heard one in person and it’s rapturous. It can go from a transparent and supportive studio-quality warmth to ultra-tight and sinewy tones, with just a turn of the knob. Desperately need one in my rig!

  81. Origin Compressors are the very best compressors. Nothing else gets the time of day after using one of these.. everybody should have one. Cheers guys.

  82. I have been using the Cali76 ( with the Lundahl transfo ) for a year now and it’s simply the best pedal I’ve ever bought ! I’m the bass player for TV show ” The Voice ” in Canada and I get to play all different styles of music and my Cali76 always keeps my bass tone very focus sounding no matter what bass I use . Thanks guys !

  83. I bought #16, one of the first. The best compression pedal I have ever owned. The only one I have tried that really adds to the tone.

  84. Loved this review for the extreme detail! Have heard the demos & compared it to other name brands making compression pedals & the Cali76 can’t be beat! Looking for the right time to add one to my pedal & this might be it. Would love to see it come with an internal power supply that bumps up a 9v connection to 18v (for the TX models) much like the Lehle Basswitch pedals!

  85. Seriously, the cali76-tx is the one pedal I refuse to play Without. The thickness and tone makes me sound much better than I am, and The DI puts the bass on tape (ok Hard drive) in an amazing way.

  86. Since when has a guitar pedal sounded as good on snare as it does on guitar? This thing is nuts. Kudos Simon! Yes please!

  87. This pedal is the holy grail of compressors but a warning should be attached!
    once switched on it is VERY HARD to turn off ,it makes EVERYTHING sound great.
    A must have for all musicians .

  88. As a proud owner of the incomparable Origin Effects Slide rig I can only imagine what sonic possibilities I could explore armed with the TX. Would also be invaluable in the studio for a multitude of uses.

  89. I already have Origins Slide Rig pedal. It’s definitely my favourite compressor for slide. Since it’s two 1176 dual chained it’s sometimes a little much for acoustic guitars and light compression but amazing for Slide. Lower George tones for days. I’d love the TX for studio and acoustic duties

  90. I would use this to tame my ghetto-improvised mini Kaoss Pad guitar – it’s currently ear bleedingly unruly, and could do with just a little compression and limiting to bring it into line in a mix…. It would also be useful on one of my loop pedals which becomes very hard to manage the output level of when more loops are added…

  91. Great reviews! I enjoyed seeing the three models compared, the TX-L looks like a fantastic and flexible live and studio tool. Awesome website.

  92. I’ve heard about the 1176 from friends but have never experienced its benefits for myself. Great review – detailed and educational. This is my first visit to BGE.com, but won’t be my last!

  93. This pedal sounds phenomenal. I would love to try it with not just guitar and bass but vocals as well. It really is the best compressor pedal out there.

  94. After hearing these guys, I would love to have one. I’ve never been happy with compression pedals I’ve had. They always seemed to color the sound too much. It sounds like the Calie76 doesn’t do that. How cool! Even if I con’t win I’ll probably give these a test drive if I can find a local stockist who carries them.

  95. I would love one of these. The only compressor pedal I’ve ever used is just a boss CS-3, which basically makes me hate compression, and I never ever use it and end up relying on software compression in the mix. I need to put a good comp in my chain.

  96. Ye gods of the internet, please look favorably upon this wretched creature, and in thy exceeding benevolence, bestow upon me this mystical power of compression.

  97. From all the videos I’ve checked out these are really the best sounding stompbox compressors out there. Pricey though!

  98. These are by far the best compression stomp boxes on the market. Of all the giveaways, this is the one I would be most excited to win!

  99. They all sound good but the XT (second pedal) imparts a bit of coloration in the low end. I like that one the best.

  100. I’m itching to try one of these with my rig. I like that Origin has only focused on creating the best options for a studio-grade comp, differentiating themselves from the now infinite number of pedalmakers. The TX has my attention with the DI out, though i’m certain that each model will impress.

  101. thank you for the detailed review and sound demo — it’s so rare to have the chance to go beyond mere advertisement… and there are 3 models to choose from, it’s brilliant – my choice would be the TX…

  102. The original Urei 1176 had huge transformers that help give it that magic but this pedal sounds great for the price (compared to a UA reissue),plus you can just use it as insert on a vocal channel as well ,which makes it’s well worth the money. I need one!

  103. Seems kind of large and overly expensive, may have too many knobs, and is probably way more than I would ever need, but the Cali76 compressor sure does sound great!

  104. My god…. I’ve never had the honor of actually trying one out myself, but from interviews I’ve read with Jim Scott and the sounds I’ve heard these babies put out (especially in a lot of Wilco’s work) I’m fairly certain that I need to save up for one of these.

    As always, thank you for all of the hard work and the amazing site, BGFX.

    oh, and one last thing…. R.I.P Andy Richardson…. you will be missed.

    Rock on, friends.

  105. I just checked out the comparison of the Cali76 Compressors and came away pretty knocked out by all three of them. In the end, I found the one with the Lundahl transformer to be the sweetest sounding one.
    It was a difficult choice and an entirely subjective one because each of them sounded excellent, and stood out, depending on the guitar music played through it.

    They do make some rather large footprints compared to most compressors we’ve all used over the years. If they didn’t sound as great as they do, I’d have a hard time making the switch with my Keeley.

    Thanks for the demo – it was done very well and opened my eyes and ears to some new gear I wasn’t looking for, but am sure glad I know about now!

  106. I am new to compressors and building pedalboards. The Cali76 preserves tone while giving it a boost, it really is a no brainer! I like the STD a lot, although I can not afford it.

  107. This looks like the ultimate compressor! In addition to playing guitar and bass, I also play electric viola, and my instrument can have wide–way to wide–swings in volume. If I had a Cali76-STD, the first thing I’d do would be to dial in the perfect viola tone. Then I’d try in on my other instruments, of course.

  108. The stock sound seemed slightly thin and distant to me. Would have been great if the pedals had been compared using a better stock sound and may be a touch of reverb. But this is by far the most comprehensive and detailed review on these pedals that I have seen by far – amazing how much effort you have put into it. Cheers.

  109. I don’t have a compressor or limiter and would love to learn how to use one. What better way then to do it with this one!

  110. Very thoughtful and informative review. I would love one of these and it’s so great to have a place to go when we want reliable info on new guitar effects! Thanks!

  111. Man, I do not have a good compressor in my signal chain, but have become very aware of the Cali76 in the last few months. After hearing your demos, that TX is amazing. Great job.

  112. I’m really digging these pedals, big time. the tone is fabulous. I play guitar in a band that records and plays live frequently, and I could definitely put one of them to use on my pedal board.

  113. Very comprehensive review of what sounds like a fantastic trio of compressors. I’m thinking the standard would be plenty for me, but the others sound like potent studio tools.

  114. My first impression is that it certainly looks sturdy. My second impression is that it does appear to take a lot of space on a pedal board. I like the settings provided and the resulting effects. Given my limited knowledge and experience using compression I would probably need to test like mentioned in the review in order to get an actual feel for it but I am interested in trying it.

  115. They look vintage, but still they are really effective in today’s market. The giveaway is going to last two months if I read the email correctly (2 processors, so yay, double the chance). Hoping to win it. I want to start of my pedal collection with this

  116. I haven’t yet had an opportunity to try out a compression pedal. After winning this contest I’ll have plenty of time to do so…

  117. What a great review. I love how comprehensive your reviews are. The video was great. I like the Cali 76-tx out of all of them. I expected the lundahl one would sound better, but to me the iron- core one sounded best. Cheers

  118. Was in the market for a new compressor pedal and after reading the review, this seems to be it! Hope the giveaway will come to me. ahha.

  119. I would start with the standard since I’m not a compression guru and would be experimenting with this for a while.

  120. Tasty playing! I have a buddy who has the TX one. No squishiness or noise, its just right for what you want out of a compressor. The demo demonstrates very well, in my opinion. Nice job!

  121. Great review!! I use EBS Compressor on bass, and it does the job. I’ve had a MXR M87 and, although it looks like it’s compararable to Cali76 on paper, it seems that Cali76 does the job better. That said, this is the pedal I would really LOVE to have any of these :).

  122. The Cali76-STD looks brilliant for me… I gave up using a compressor because I felt I wasnt getting enough performance out of it for the footprint it was taking up on my board. But it was a cheap one so thats probably why. I think this would make a much better addition my my setup. Yes please ! And Ill probably be the only guy in New Zealand with one so if it works out it would be good publicity for the pedal here :-)

  123. woah! I don’t think I’ve seen stompbox compressors this fancy…. studio grade yet still road worthy! Looks great.

  124. Really impressive compressors – I like the option for different models and features, like the DI and boost. I could use one in my rig!

  125. I love the sounds coming out of these pedals! Love my Wampler Ego, but these seem to have a few more shaping options.

  126. Really like Ross compressors, but they are a bit limited when it comes to some of the shaping that the Cali76 has. These pedals also look amazing.

  127. Nice to have options beyond the ubiquitous Ross/Dynacomp variants, as nice as that sound is. And this is an incredibly cool option to have. Good stuff.

  128. Cali76 looks really good. I hope Origin Effect steps forward and produces other pedals at this quality.

    Btw, how important is the iron core upgrade?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here